Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

I am the 1%. I'm with the 99%. If the boat sinks, we all drown.

(originally posted in orange)

By any rational standard, I am the 1%.

I’m with the 99%.

But there’s a rhetoric out there, among some. There’s a rhetoric saying that it’s the rich versus the poor. Or the 1% vs. the 99%.  It’s not. Not everyone who is rich is a jerk; and some people who are poor are jerks. I’m guessing that the guy holding up the sign “keep government out of my medicare!” was not part of any elite.

But the 1%. Well, I’m not close to the top of that 1%. Alan Grayson is a lot closer. He’s worth tens of millions, and he’s a BIG OccupyWallStreet supporter.  

Ever hear of Mohammed El-Erian? He’s Wall Street if anyone is. He’s CEO of an asset management company called PIMCO. He wrote an Op-Ed for Huffington post in support of OWS.

Because some of us 1% are smart enough to realize that if the boat sinks, we all drown.  

And some of us are decent enough to know that people everywhere deserve a certain standard of living, that no one should be hungry and no one should be homeless and no one should die because they don’t have health insurance and you shouldn’t be able to deny someone water because they don’t have the right papers.

Some of us know that the class warfare was started by the conservatives, and that they are mad because we’re demanding a ceasefire.

It’s not the 99% vs. the 1%.  It’s the 99% vs. the portion of the 1% that are schmucks.


  1. fogiv

    i work for my uncle sam now, but was in the private sector for a decade prior at a pretty big corporation.  my company had contracts in iraq (mostly in uxo, construction, engineering/design stuff), sponging off that mess like everyone else.  meanwhile, i worked in for the environmental arm of the company, and i was happy to play a part in getting lots of renewable energy projects off the ground all across the country (wind, solar, hydro).

    corporations aren’t evil.  some may be.  parts of other may be.  nothing is black/white, either/or.

    our world just isn’t that simple.

  2. SallyCat

    I was pretty close to the 1% during my SF corporate years, not there or anywhere close anymore.  But my neighbors and friends still are in the 1%ers. Yet we vote repeatedly for more taxes to make things better for our community. We are very progressive and active in Democratic politics. Hell we even get some of our GOP neighbors that are 1% types on board with changes.

    Labels hurt everyone and divisiveness is what those in charge want. When we work together we become powerful in making changes.  Hopefully more activism and more common ground we can make inroads and changes.

  3. jlms qkw

    but certainly, more than 1% are schmucks.  after all, Romney received 47% of the vote.

    there is so much noise.  

  4. bubbanomics

    a fraction of the 99% that’s bigger than 1% seems to endorse the policies of the 1% (aka the ironic Romney 47%).

    There’s a huge divide that’s easily (and somewhat lazily) considered a rural/urban divide.

    by congressional district:

    population weighted:

    I think it has to do, to some extent, with the specialization vs. “general practice” mentality, the level of organization and complexity with which people feel comfortable.  larger sizes and scales require more infrastructure, higher indirect costs, and…well…more government.  (There is an ironic counterexample in the blogosphere to which I will not point.)  

  5. left rev

    the picture isn’t great for any of the passengers.

    Thing is…some of the people in that boat have life vests. The majority do not.

    Some of the people in that boat have had swimming lessons. The majority just flail frantically until they go under.

    Some of the people in that boat can even pay for life guards and rescue units to come swooping down and pluck them from the stormy seas. The majority…well, you know.

    I don’t think we all drown. And eventually, those who do drown will realize that they’re just grasping at other drowning victims and begin to start making grabs for the more, shall we say, buoyant.

    That’s when things really get ugly and the sharks feed well. Any chance, do you think, that those lucky kids with the life vests are going to see that its to their advantage to make sure everyone has something that floats to cling to? Or do you think they’ll just keep hollering: “PADDLE FASTER!”

    My money’s on the hollering unless we bring on the sharks.

  6. sarahnity

    It’s not just that I don’t want the boat to sink in the future, but also I know I wouldn’t be in this position if I hadn’t been born on such a damn fine boat, and I owe everyone who built that boat a debt of obligation.  If I were raised in Somalia, I wouldn’t be doing this well at all.

  7. domestic goddess

    It’s about quality of life.  I’m just barely in the 1% and I do think there is a lot of difference in lifestyle between 250K and over 1 million per year and whether it’s from earned income or unearned income.  I’m not complaining at all and realize how lucky I am because we sure didn’t start out this way.  Luck, education, and all the infrastructure provided by family and government went into being in the position I am today.

    But what kind of country do the wealthy want to live in and what kind of lifestyle do they want to lead?  Personally, I do not want my country or city to look like something out of a schlocky futuristic apocalypse film.  There is plenty to go around if people are paid a living wage, not minimum wage and the top pays more in income, payroll and inheritance tax.  They will still be wealthy.  The Waltons may have to do with a few million less than their billions every year. It won’t effect their lifestyle on bit.  But paying the 99% a living wage will effect their lives.

  8. Miep

    or for their children to drown. There seem to be creatures out there that believe that ensuring enough other people drown will somehow be personally protective. Or maybe they just like watching people drown.

  9. kalmoth

    not all people who are at the top financially are smart, I know for a fact.  Some are ruthless and greedy, some were born into money (and not realizing it’s their luck, not their divine right)…

  10. fcvaguy

    I’m afraid that a real fracture is being created amongst liberals in America. The liberal progressive base in America spans incomes from the very poor to the very rich. Yet, some “liberals” insist on treating their more well off allies with true and abject disdain.

    Witness this comment posted on another blog:

    No. People making six figured individually

    are not middle class.  They are “well off”.  

    We cannot enact sane policy until we straighten that out.

    If you make that kind of money you don’t need tax relief – you need your taxes raised dramatically.  You should be paying an effective (not marginal) rate of 35% or more.

    Really? A family of 4 living in San Francisco, or Boston, or Washington or New York with a family income of $100,000 is “well off” and “deserves to have their taxes raised dramatically?


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